The Elements of a Design Pattern

Design teams are discovering that a well-built design pattern library makes the user interface development process substantially easier. A quality library means team members have the information they need at their fingertips. Choosing usable components that work smoothly for users becomes the developer’s path of least resistance. Innovation, while not prohibited, is reserved for those times when it’s really necessary, allowing the team to leverage the work already done by others.

Our research suggests one difficulty in building out the design pattern library is starting to catalog the current set of elements. It takes a push from the library creators, but once it’s completed, the value seems to be immediate: teams can start to discuss what works and what doesn’t in current designs, laying out a vision for future development.

What do teams put into their design pattern descriptions? Here’s what our research has turned up:

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